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Everything posted by CrashedOutAndBurned

  1. If the Tories believed that the poor are lazy feckless bastards they should call their bluff by introducing a Citizen's Income. If we all get benefits in the form we can't lose then if would create a truly flexible labour market. It may be at times that there are few jobs to go round but perhaps someone could find a job working one Saturday in two and top up their CI. Likewise, if an employer is taking the piss, the employee can at least fall back on CI if they need to leave. Anyway, this yellow star essentials card idea isn't going to boost the economy. In the middle of a weekday in a drab provincial town who's keeping the tills ringing at Primark, Lidl, Adsa, Wilkinsons, Poundstretcher, etc? Those in receipt of benefits. Curtail their spending and the economy shrinks even more and even fewer people are employed.
  2. Right. With poor pay frozen for years these could equally be 'hard working families' who a generation or two would have been in a council home and not considered a scrounger of any description. Can we vote for a Chavez and give the poor their self-respect back?
  3. Masses about of council housing is cool. It has the knock on effect of keeping private rents lower and means more of people's money can be spent in the real economy rather than just propping up the price of bricks and mortar. ASking people to pay more to live in a home they may have had for decades will just reduce still further the amount people have to spend.
  4. There are good festivals around where not more than a few thousand go and it's a relaxed experience. The big corporate megafests are just stressful. Plus, music is utter tripe these days. Young people just don't seem that into music these days - it's just some noise for their iPod. Does anyone give a shit whether they see some indie haircuts and Dizee Rascal in a muddy field?
  5. What a tosser. Even if this mad policy became real why should the Guardian get dough and not, say, the Huffington Post or, for that matter, Joe Bloggs' Blog?
  6. I'm probably in the with the middle to low range of those people and I don't feel poor. I hardly ever buy pointless 'stuff'. The rent is cheapish. I don't have a commute to spend money on. I've spent £400 on furniture in 12 years of independent living. A lot of my stuff was free/second hand/eBay/bootsale. If I wanted the consumer lifestyle then I'd feel poor. I can't imagine fretting over UPVC conservatories and brand new Ford Focuses and endless trips to Ikea and B&Q. I'd sooner shoot myself.
  7. This compass thing is utterly meaningless. Friedman, whose Chicago economics was adopted by several latin american fascists, is clearly deeply authoritarian. It has to be as it displaces so many and leaves them in the dirt - we saw this under Thatcher. That's the issue - we don't like paying for people that are simply 'crap at 21st century life' to have the fruits of 21st century living in similar quantities to those who have to work hard. But then when old people are cold, crime goes through the roof, teens are sleeping in shop doorways, and strikes and protests are clobbered by the fuzz etc. people don't much like that either...
  8. Say a kid got an iPod Touch when they were 17, got a bunch of apps, not they want a not-too-expensive phone. iPhone 4 is great and they can use all their Apps. I use the iPhone 4 on contract with about 8 months left to go. No intention of shelling out for an early upgrade. It is just a phone. As for the premium without sound fayboy-ish the feel of Apple's phones is night and day. The Galaxy SIII has bags of spec but the design is silly - I see guys with carrying them in their hands a lot (not using them) because they just don't go in regular jeans. It also feels VERY, VERY cheaply made - HTC make a better-feeling plastic phone. Given that some people live via smartphone, touching the darn things non-stop, even a fairly large premium in for 'fit and finish' wil be paid by many. The SIII was £569.99 when just out, now around £450. So the ball-park wasn't miles out.
  9. For many years now the accusation has always been that underemployed graduates did silly subjects at ex-polys. That may be true but vast numbers of graduates from Universities with an enviable reputation that did traditional degrees would seem to be in the same boat. I've also heard of friends' teens not going to Uni because older siblings seemed to only get a pile of debt and low-grade work at the end of it.
  10. That's what I love about self-employment. I only use the car to see clients and attend various things. Sometimes I can go three weeks without touching it. I live urban so get daily to needs on foot. In Europe lots of people live in cities and may have a car that they only need to use here and there. Urban sprawl and commuting huge distances from musuem-piece rural villages looks dead.
  11. Those are without contracts. Most high-end phones are in that ballpark without contract. I think the biggest news isn't that the iPhone 4 is now going to be free on quite lowly contracts. Some of the low-end Android phones are really cheap and nasty. So Apple is no longer a premium-only player.
  12. I'm not surprised. 10 years ago it'd be a 'nice surprise' as an Apple user to see someone using an Apple laptop on a train or in a cafe. Now, by this test, it looks like 80% of laptops out there are Apple although that's maybe because they are more portable than many PC models. One obvious omission in their lineup is Apple TV. It's been a relatively obscure product for them and although runs iOS like the iPad and iPhone has no App Store, presumably because Apple have been trying to thrash out deals with content and TV providers. Interestingly, the Apple TV 3 is the first iOS product that's proven so far impossible to jailbreak (jailbreak and you can get all the content you want illicitly or legitimately) as if they have to show their platform is secure to potential partners. Still, if those talks break down all Apple need to do is shove an App Store on it and watch some more billions roll in. The downside for them I see is the weakness of their iCloud offering. It's mostly a consumer gimmick. Most serious Apple users therefore use third party tools like Google Apps to really 'do cloud computing'. Google with Chrome OS and Android can of course work things so these services work better on their platform. Back when Mac OS X was gaining traction there was talk of Apple picking up established UNIX vendors to make their OS a major UNIX player in the enterprise but then of course focused near entirely on consumers. I think if they want to be a post-PC player they need to get back into enterprise market with some hefty acquisitions.
  13. Dyson is one hell of a guy. Produce shite products that fail ridiculously prematurely and just don't work that well every time but cultivate an 'innovation' image so the crap is widely perceived to be great even so. Another 'canny marketeer'. Just what the world needs.
  14. We got a £599 Windows Laptop for Mrs as a vanilla 'work computer' - she just needs to run Office and a basic database tool for her freelance work. The number of times I've been not doing my work and her not doing her work while we eff about with it is unreal. Our time is money. So now she's getting MacBook and Parallels, like my set-up, as the database tool is Windows-only. Twice the price. To save money.
  15. Why is it so tax efficient to hoard empty commercial property? There are places have have been derelict for years and years and the rent asked is a joke. Why not slap such a huge tax on empty units that landlords are better off selling, bring prices down, or offering peppercorn rents to new enterprises to avoid the tax? Oh, sorry, property isn't a resource. Silly me. Forgot.
  16. I totally agree with the sentiments on this thread. Sick and disabled scroungers must be frogmarched to 'back to work' camps right away.
  17. It's a paradox that 75% of new jobs are in the unskilled, low paid sector but there's nowhere near enough of them t employ every low skilled person. That's why these schemes are unfair and ridiculous. Graduates are unemployed or badly underemployed. It's not as if you get up at 6am, have a cold shower, and declare yourself ready for work you get a job, let alone one that isn't an insult. If the State offered the choice or a real job or sanctions these schemes might have some validity.
  18. I think it's quite meaningless now. Who's posher? Someone that has a Masters in Classics and know about culture yet earns minimum wage stacking shelves in Waterstones or some dickhead who's never read a book on 50k as a sales manager who likes golf, motors and buying a UPVC conservatory for the Mrs and loads of tat for the kids?
  19. Goldman Sachs are now in control, know that they are immune from prosecution and have taking over the US Authorities as a weapon to shoot down all potential rivals.
  20. Whenever I read Mumsnet threads I think of this track by HMHB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxR0JY-FMh8
  21. The trouble is rents have crept up so much that it's now reached the level where people are paying such a high % of their incomes to landlords that they are giving up - living at home, multiple couples sharing larger houses rather than paying out 50%+ of their combined incomes in rent alone. Incomes are falling and unemployment rising with the under 30s the worst hit. Over the last couple of years I've known of young people quitting the South East and their jobs just to head back to the parents' place simply unable to afford to live or not willing to put up with squalor anymore.
  22. Capitalists are now sounding like Communists, 'Ahhh, yeah, I know it looks as if Capitalism sucks but this isn't actually real capitalism you know...' Rigged housing market. Rigged libor. Rigged Silver markets. Bailouts. Goldman Sachs immune from prosecution. We may as well turn the clock back 40 years, build loads of council homes, tax the rich, etc. or go Scandinavian. Why do we need this neoliberal extremism? A halfway house is often a pragmatic solution.
  23. It's like Weston Super Mare but with loads of crusties and a load of London luvvies milling about. Expensive yet only provides the same sub-£15k jobs as every other provincial dump.
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